Andrey Mir (note Mir’s definition: “Postjournalism is journalism that is economically forced to take a political side and produce polarization and anger in order to trigger the audience’s loyalty and donations in the form of subscription”):
There are two parallel and intertwining processes defining the conditions of agenda-setting. First, journalism is mutating into postjournalism, and the largest news media orgs are turning into the crowdfunded ‘Ministries of post-truth’. Second, old media in general are becoming a part of the digital media environment dominated by social media with their own intrinsic polarization bias. As a result, old and new media are conjointly and interdependently contributing to polarization. The mechanisms and motives, however, are different. Social media polarization is a side effect of better user engagement for better ad targeting. Old media polarize the audience for better soliciting of support. But both produce polarization because of the very design of their business models.
Fake news is not the principal problem in this new media environment. The impact of fake news is already mitigated by the users’ growing immunity and also by the growing noise that diminishes the potency of fake news’ impact. The critical issue of the new media environment is polarization. It is systemic and profound; no ecosystem factor is seen on the horizon that might limit or counteract the polarizing effect of new and old media. Even the ongoing decline of old media will not solve the problem, as they will remain the discursive platform for the public sphere for another 5–10 years. This is sufficiently long enough to cause significant damage in the area where the affective and agenda-setting polarization of social media gets articulated and transferred into political discourses that shape the public sphere, politics, policies and electoral outcomes.